Penne with Broccoli and Coconut Milk

Why is it that kids can live on a staple of plain pasta? Maybe a lot of you are nodding your heads and smirking, because you can relate to what I am about to say.

I have never met a kid who does not like pasta. They can live on this 24-7 and never seem happier. Soeren is just the same. Whenever I ask him "Hey Soeri, would do you fancy today?" He looks and says,

"Pasta!" is always a sure answer.

I remember last year when we were vacationing in Liguria, Italy, I think we did have pasta almost everyday. In the town where we stayed there was a restaurant called "Macaroni". A wonderful place with a delightful ambient, directly on the beach promenade. This place actually had only pasta on the menu, pasta in all shapes, sizes and forms and served in a huge variety of sauces.

You would think Soeren would have gone for some fancy type of sauce - after all he does get some good stuff at home ;-)! No, he was happy with plain tomato sugo! Life is so easy from a kids point of view.

Anyway, so when I asked my men "What do you fancy for lunch, boys?" I got the same answer from Soeren "PASTA!" Tom agreed!

OK pasta it was to be. However, I decided I was not going to give in to a normal tomato sauce. I have nothing against tomato sauces but ... hey! it ain't all that challenging for mummy in the kitchen. I like to cook and I enjoy my time out in the kitchen, especially on the weekends. The boys are playing in the garden and I put on some nice music and conjure up something GOOD! The idea of tomato sauce just did not appeal to me.

I had broccoli in the freezer and a can of coconut milk in the pantry. Here's what I whipped up!

500g Broccoli - cut into florets
400g Penne
2 garlic cloves - chopped finely
1 onion - chopped finely
1 tablespoon olive oil
small handful of coriander leaves - finely chopped
4-5 tablespoons white wine or vegetable stock if cooking for kids
400 ml coconut milk - unsweetened
1/8 l vegetable stock
1 teaspoon cornstarch
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons lime juice


Steam the broccoli for approx. 6-7 minutes. Cook the pasta according to instructions.

Sauté the garlic and onions in a large pan, with the olive oil. Add the wine (or stock) and simmer for a few seconds. Add the coconut milk, 1/8 l stock and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat. Mix the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water and pour into the sauce. Simmer for 1 minute.

Add salt and pepper to taste and pour in the lime juice. Put the broccoli florets into the pan and cover with the sauce. Allow to heat through. Add the chopped coriander leaves.

Place pasta on pre warmed plates and pour the sauce with the broccoli over this.

Brilliant! Soeren loves broccoli and so he was not disappointed to see no tomato sauce. He really loved the all the tastes this pasta sauce had to offer. Tom was also surprised at the "strange" creation. He thought coconut milk was something specifically for Asian/Indian cooking.
Isn't it funny how when you tell someone what's in it they kind of look all funny and think "Well that can't taste good!" I like the look on their faces when they try it and the face kind of lights up - almost as if a light bulb went on in their brain. That is the same thing you will get with this one, I promise.

The coconut milk offers a wonderful and smooth texture, the lime juice adds a little tanginess. It is a harmony of flavors that really works well.

I doubt the tomato sugo will ever fall from it's glory for Soeren, but I do know one thing this one is just as fast and certainly a good run.

This ones for Cate's great ARF 5 A Day Tuesday.

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  1. Aloha, Meeta!
    I am finally caught up on all of your posts for the past week.
    I missed your blog while I was away but knew that good reading
    and visuals were waiting upon my return ;) Will send you an
    e-mail a bit later today. Loved the BBQ round-up...delicious
    and easy-to-make recipes. Thanks for doing that!

  2. Amazing,Meeta.I had never imagined pasta in coconut sauce.Will definitely give it a try.Although I will love to add few shrimps to it.Thanks for the recipe.

  3. Wow! This looks great, I just discovered your blog, great pictures and such a nice clean layout :)

  4. Payal, I got your postcard yesterday! OH! Hawaiiiiii! I have a great friend who livs in Waikiki too. Anyway, glad you're back. I missed my girlfriend a bit!

    ANON, it really is a great combination. You just have to make sure you do not use the sweetened type of coconut milk.

    Katerina, Welcome to my blog and thank you for your comments. I recently changed the look of my blog. I was using the same template as you have for your blog. I just built around it changing the colors and the look. I like it too as the pictures come out well on a white background. Hope you stick around ;-)

  5. Pete's kids love pasta too. I have to admit that sometimes I take advantage of that for a quick meal! :) They usually have a tomato based sauce - gotta try this one on them and see what feedback I get!

  6. This one is lovely meeta-Coconut milk in pasta! I generally try out all things offbeat, but havent done this one before. Shall let you know when i try it out

    Been quite shaken up last 2-3 days, things are getting somewhat ok, but people aren't forgiving this time. Have started a new blog to voice out thoughts on the happenings of 7.11


  7. Meeta,
    That's a brilliant idea,i am sure your boys loved it. I will try this for sure. Nice photo.

  8. I type this comment as I'm relishing fork by fork of this excellent dish. When I made the sauce I thought it was a bit too coconuty but when mixed with the pasta.. my God! My boy (who has just learnt to eat by himself) is having fun with the broccoli lightly coated with the sauce.. he has carefully kept the penne away, which he normally does like a lot:)

  9. Ladies thank you for your comments. I hope you will al enjoy this as much as we did. Hope you'll let me know.

    Latha Wow! isn't it great when kids eat up their vegies without a fuss. I am so happy that you liked this one Ltha and even happier that you cam e back to tell me about it.


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